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17 Asian Pop Groups You Should Be Stanning Beyond BTS

If you've got BTS on repeat like we all do and you're now looking for a new group to be obsessed with, look no more. This post has got you.

Note: We're all passionate about our fave groups; however, groups like Twice and NCT are on almost every K-pop recommendation list and are already well known by K-pop fans. For that reason, while you *will* find bigger groups here, this post will also spotlight groups that are almost never mentioned but deserve to be! If you don't see your fave, that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be here; if we tried listing every group that deserves to be in this post, we'd end up listing the whole industry πŸ’€. Now, let's get this going!

1. The Boyz debuted in 2017 but gained traction in 2020 through their participation in the reality television competition Road to Kingdom, which saw them compete against six other underrated boy groups and win first place! They are deft at coming up with elaborate stages and concepts, a skill demonstrated through RTK, for which they were admired by their fellow contestants.

Cre ker Entertainment

Their win on the show secured them a spot in Kingdom: Legendary War, the sequel, which sees them going up against five bigger, trending K-pop groups, including Stray Kids and Ateez. The winner gets their own reality show, so wish The Boyz luck!

Fun fact: Several of the members speak fluent English, and two of them, Jacob and Kevin, both vocalists, are Korean Canadian! Kevin was actually named after Macaulay Culkin's character in Home Alone πŸ˜‚. Member Eric, the youngest, is Korean American, having grown up in Los Angeles!

Members: 11

Listen to: "Reveal" (That pre-chorus is from heaven!) and "No Air"

My bias: Juyeon and Sunwoo

2. Oneus (pronounced One-us) is adept at pulling off a range of different sounds and concepts, from royalty and vampires to traditional Korean culture. They're rather shyer and quieter than most boy groups, which makes them more endearing, but don't let that fool you β€” they sure know how to work a stage! Member Seoho, main vocalist, is notable for his extraordinarily strong and stable voice, while Hwanwoong, main dancer, might just be one of the best dancers to come out of fourth-gen boy groups in recent times!

RBW

Oneus participated in Road to Kingdom alongside The Boyz, where they were admired by their fellow competitors for their stunning stages and storytelling. Fun fact: They have no leader or hierarchy in the group β€” everyone is equal! They have a fun "Stage Break" series, where they showcase impressive choreo and concepts to songs they chose themselves β€” in this one, they based it around 2019 horror film Us! Another fun fact: Their first-ever tour was in the US; they actually haven't toured Korea yet, despite being based there!

In 2020, they won the New Icon Award at the Soribada Best K-Music Awards. That same year, after four EPs, they released their first full-length album, Devil. The group debuted in 2019 and are under RBW, the company that houses powerhouse girl group Mamamoo! Oneus is also RBW's first-ever idol boy group!

Members: 6

Listen to: "Come Back Home" (Watch out for that impressive four-tone high note! I almost fainted when I first heard it.) and "To Be or Not to Be" (Those Shakespearean vibes are everything!)

My bias: Hwanwoong

3. Dreamcatcher is especially unique from other girl groups for their dark horror and fantasy concepts and signature heavy-rock and metal sound! Their deviation from the typical pop sound is considered risky for a girl group; not only are they admired by fans for this, but they were also critically acclaimed for pulling it off so naturally! Dare to be different, as they say. If you're tired of hearing songs that all sound the same, give Dreamcatcher a try β€” they'll make you want to pretend you're in Game of Thrones, all dark and dramatic.

DreamCatcher Company

Siyeon, main vocalist, has an impressively strong voice β€” she often sings songs for K-drama soundtracks, and her high notes are just πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ. In 2020, Dreamcatcher did the opening theme for fantasy anime series King's Raid: Successors of the Will, which is a dream come true for fans, who have always said that their songs are perfect for anime openings!

Fun fact: Their company, previously Happyface Entertainment, changed their name to Dreamcatcher Company in 2019! We love a company that stans their own artist! The group debuted in 2017.

Members: 7

Listen to: "Boca" (It talks about Dreamcatcher protecting you from bullying πŸ₯Ί.) and "Deja Vu" (It feels like you're watching a movie.)

My bias: Sua and Siyeon

4. Ateez is known for their powerful sound and dramatic choreo (their songs will have you feeling like you can rule the world). They're incredibly popular with international fans and were named Worldwide Fans' Choice two years in a row at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. In 2020, they were the 5th-most-tweeted-about musician in the US and the 10th-most-tweeted-about K-pop group worldwide. Talk about impressive 😱! Member Jongho, main vocalist, is, like Oneus's Seoho, notable for his exceptional high notes.

Mnet

Their international popularity led to them not only being dubbed "Fourth-Generation Leaders" but also "Global Performance Idols" and official global ambassadors for Korean culture and tourism in 2020! They debuted in 2018.

Members: 8

Listen to: "Inception" and "Hala Hala" (A fan commented that they look like the mafia but are in a musical so they had to do a dance number before killing you β€” and LOL, I need that comment printed out.)

My bias: Seonghwa

5. Astro stands out for their incredibly detailed and difficult choreo β€” which, of course, they manage to make look effortless, but you realize just how difficult it is once you try it yourself! Many of their songs are fun, lighthearted, and a little nostalgic, with a "long drive in the summer" kind of feeling. Their music video for "All Night" garnered attention from audiences for quite possibly being the prettiest, most aesthetic music video in K-pop!

Fantagio

Fun fact: Their company, Fantagio, is mostly an acting management company, and two of Astro's members are prevalent in the acting world; you may have seen Cha Eunwoo in 2020's trending K-drama True Beauty! Many fans' introductions to Astro are through Eunwoo, who has starred in several successful dramas, including 2018's My ID Is Gangnam Beauty. In the group, he is a vocalist. Moonbin, lead dancer, is also an actor. In 2020, MJ, main vocalist, starred as drag queen Jamie in the Korean version of the British musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie, which is not something you hear everyday from a K-pop idol! Astro debuted in 2016.

Members: 6

Listen to: "Knock" (such a pretty song) and "Always You" (gets you in the feels πŸ₯Ί)

My bias: Moonbin

6. Perfume is a J-pop girl group that debuted in 2002 but gained national fame six years later with their 2008 single, "Polyrhythm," which was not only chosen as the theme for a recycling campaign by Japan's biggest television channel but also featured in Pixar's Cars 2! Since then, they have emerged as one of the most successful acts in Japan, selling over 5 million records. In 2019, they performed at Coachella, becoming the first J-pop group ever to perform at the festival.

The three members of Perfume
Universal Music Japan

The group has a signature technopop sound and futuristic image and are known for their clever use of autotune, with heavily processed vocals that somehow still sound natural and add to the instrumentals.

Members: 3

Listen to: "Tokyo Girl" (That beat drop! This was also used as the theme song for 2017 J-drama Tokyo Tarareba Girls, which starred Yuriko Yoshitaka as Rinko and Kentaro Sakaguchi as the leads β€” you can glimpse Yoshitaka in the music video!)

7. Stray Kids' boyish image and songs, many of which speak about empowerment and the struggles of youth in society, are reminiscent of BTS' early days. In a funny twist, two of the members, Chan and Felix, are both from Sydney, Australia! What are the chances? Many of their members are fluent in English and involved in their own songwriting, resulting in the lyrics of their English versions of Korean songs sounding natural and unstilted, attracting a wider international audience.

JYP Entertainment

Stray Kids debuted in 2018 and are under JYP Entertainment, the company behind powerhouse girl group Twice. They're also the first group from JYP to produce their own music! Three of the members, leader Bang Chan and rappers Changbin and Han, have their own songwriting subunit called 3Racha, in which they participate in writing and composing Stray Kids' songs.

Members: 8

Listen to: "Levanter" (It's so πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί) and "Back Door" (Groovy!)

My bias: Lee Know and I.N

8. ONF (pronounced On and Off) debuted in 2017 but, similar to The Boyz, 2020 marked a turning point for them after they appeared in Road to Kingdom, competing alongside The Boyz and Oneus, and winning second place! They were highly admired by their fellow competitors for their unique song rearrangements and striking performances β€” during the partner-up episode, every group said they wanted to work with ONF!

WM Entertainment

The group has two leaders because they're divided into two subunits, the On team and the Off team (cute plays off their name!). Their 2020 single "New World" was released on RTK and became the first song in their career to appear on Billboard's K-pop Hot 100. Due to this success, after five EPs, they were able to release their first full-length album, ONF: My Name, in 2021. In a cute move, the pre-release single was a way for the members to introduce themselves through the song for new fans!

Fun facts: They starred in their own web drama in 2020, and Hyojin, main vocalist, had red hair for so long that it became his signifier; he was known as that "red-haired kid from ONF" πŸ˜‚.

Members: 6

Listen to: "We Must Love"

My bias: Hyojin

9. WayV is a C-pop group that's actually part of NCT, which is divided into multiple subunits! They're NCT's first overseas subunit based in China. Most of their songs have a powerful and intense sound and concept, and their music videos are slick and well produced, making them a treat for the eyes! A practice also done by the rest of NCT, WayV often releases English versions of their songs, resulting in a wider international fanbase.

SM Entertainment

The group debuted in 2019.

Members: 7

Listen to: "Love Talk"

10. Mamamoo is recognized in the industry for their powerhouse vocals and live-singing skills. They're also a refreshing deviation from the conventionally soft, cute-sounding vocals and style in girl groups, opting for a bolder, more mature sound and image and using their voices with full force. Contrary to most K-pop groups, they are considerably smaller.

RBW

Member Hwasa, one of the vocalists, is celebrated for breaking Korea's strict ideal beauty standards, famously stating that if she did not fit the standard, then she would become a new one. In April 2021, she was featured on Forbes' "30 under 30 Asia" list. Moonbyul, rapper, is the most credited female idol of her generation, with over 65 songs to her name! The group debuted in 2014.

Members: 4

Listen to: "Gogobebe" (That ponytail move is iconic!) and "Wind Flower" (It's way too underrated β€” do you see those aesthetics?)

My bias: Hwasa

11. Verivery's songs and music videos are innovative and imaginative, usually telling an interesting, otherworldly story that keeps your eyes glued to the screen to figure out what's happening. In 2020, they participated in Road to Kingdom alongside Oneus and The Boyz, and showed off some impressive performances like this one, which was filmed all in one take!

Jellyfish Entertainment

Verivery debuted in 2019. They're under Jellyfish Entertainment, the company behind prominent performance boy group VIXX. They're the company's first boy group in six years since VIXX's debut in 2012!

Members: 7

Listen to: "Thunder" and "Lay Back"

My bias: Kangmin

12. AKB48 is a J-pop group that's the fifth-bestselling girl group worldwide as well as the only Japanese group on that list, which, needless to say, is a phenomenal feat! They are truly unlike any group in this article: They have their own theater in which they perform daily so fans can always see them, and their own dating simulation game (LOL), for which they set a Guinness World Record! New members join every year while older members "graduate"; they currently have almost one hundred members!

Avex Group / Genie Music

The Guinness World Record was for most pop singers in a video game! The members are divided into five teams and sister groups. The sister groups are localized to the area: AKB for example, stands for the group who performs in Akihabara, Tokyo, while SKE48 has their own theater based in Sakae, Nagoya. Some members graduate and go on to become the group's manager! The division of teams means they can rotate performances, which reduces members' workload.

Fun facts: They recorded a song for the Disney film Wreck-It Ralph, and they have their own anime series, AKB0048. They also have a fun publicized "election" in which fans can vote to decide the recording lineup for some songs, and the group has annual rock-paper-scissors tournaments to decide who will debut as a soloist or perform a solo concert. They are rightly dubbed a social phenomenon! The group debuted in 2005.

Members: 98 (Have fun learning everyone's names! πŸ˜‚)

Listen to: "No Way Man"

13. TXT is particularly well known for being the first boy group to debut under Big Hit Music in six years after BTS' debut in 2013. Yes, they are BTS' direct juniors, so you can imagine the pressure! However, they did not remain in BTS' shadow and carved a niche for themselves with a magical, dreamlike sound not usually heard in K-pop, breathy vocals, and experimental music. They have an ongoing concept that talks about the pains of growing up, losing yourself, and friendship, which resonates with many.

Big Hit Music

Fun facts: Youngest member Huening Kai, vocalist, is Korean American, having been born in Hawaii β€” he's half Korean and half German! Before TXT arrived, Nam-joon, leader of BTS, was the tallest artist in the company at 5'11"; however, two of TXT's members are past that, with leader Soobin being 6'1"! Sorry, Joonie πŸ˜‚. The group debuted in 2019.

Members: 5

Listen to: "9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)" (Peep that Harry Potter reference!) and "New Rules" (so catchy and such a fun choreo to watch!)

My bias: Soobin

14. Uverworld is a J-rock group that wasted no time in blowing everyone away because their debut song was chosen as the second opening theme for the globally popular anime Bleach! That's a major accomplishment for a debut. And they didn't stop there. If you're looking for catchy melodies and energetic but emotionally provoking music that makes you feel like you're on top of the world, look no more; Uverworld's got you.

The members of  Uverworld
@uverworld_official / Via instagram.com

They are quite influential and renowned for their music quality, and many of their songs are chosen as opening and ending themes for anime shows and movies.

Most recently, 2018's "Odd Future" became the opening theme for the third season of My Hero Academia, and 2019's "Touch Off" was used as the opening for dark fantasy thriller The Promised Neverland. Fans say that if there's an Uverworld song in an anime, it means the anime will be good! There's more: Their single "Good and Evil" was used for the Japanese dubbed version of Marvel film Venom (2018)! Uverworld debuted in 2005.

Members: 6

Listen to: "Reversi" (that chorus is just πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ; this song was also used as the theme for Blue Exorcist: The Movie and "Core Pride" (also famous as the theme song for the first season of Blue Exorcist!)

15. Everglow made quite a splash right off the bat with their hard-hitting debut song! Their music is full of foot-tapping beats and earworm choruses, and their music videos are nice and polished, making them a promising group to watch out for, and one that's enjoyable to stan. They also have strong stage presence, with fierce expressions and confident moves.

Stone Music Entertainment

The group debuted in 2019. Fun fact: The youngest member, Yiren, is Chinese and the only foreign member in the group. She's also trained in Chinese dance, so hopefully we get to see her skills soon!

Members: 6

Listen to: "Dun Dun" (It literally starts with foot-tapping, so I think I've made my point.)

16. SF9 debuted in 2016 but experienced a major breakthrough in 2020 with the single "Good Guy," which broke multiple sales, charts, and music video records, and got them their first-ever music-show win and awards-show nomination at the Melon Music Awards, both after four years. SF9 is also competing in Kingdom, alongside Stray Kids and The Boyz!

FNC Entertainment

Fun fact: In their 2018 song "Now or Never," so many fans misheard repeated word "jilleosseo" (which means "I did it") as "jealous" and thought that was the actual title of it β€” that the group actually renamed the song "Jealous" for their performance of it in Kingdom πŸ˜‚!

Two of their members are also actors: Chani, main dancer, actually started his career as a child actor way before he joined SF9! He has some super-popular dramas to his credit, including Signal (2016), which was critically acclaimed, and Sky Castle (2018), which is the second-highest-rated drama in Korean cable TV history! Rowoon, lead vocalist, starred in fantasy drama Extraordinary You in 2019, and voiced the lead character in the Korean dub of animated movie Trolls World Tour in 2020.

Members: 9

Listen to: "Summer Breeze"

17. Loona gained traction among audiences with the 2019 release of "Butterfly," the music video of which was shot across five countries from three continents and showcased girls of different races and cultures with a message of empowerment β€” the inclusivity was appreciated by fans. They often release English versions of their songs, indicating an intention to enter the US market.

Blockberry Creative

And with their 2020 song "Star" being their first single to enter the US Top 40 chart, they made history by becoming the first solo Korean girl group to reach this milestone without any collabs (Blackpink entered the chart with their Selena Gomez collab in 2020), so they aren't here to kid β€” don't be surprised if you start seeing them around!

Members: 12

Listen to: "Butterfly"

Are you fans of any of the groups in this post? We can't fit every group or this post would never end, so let me know in the comments who else you think we should stan!

NHK Japan

Note:Β This article previously listed GFriend, who disbanded right before this was published. We decided to remove them to reflect active groups only.Β 

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